How To Eat 700 Calories A Day Safely, For Weight Loss

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reviewed by Katelyn Tocci

Trying a 700 calories a day weight loss diet may be enticing as a way to induce rapid weight loss.

But, is 700 calories a day enough? What is the minimum calories per day you need to eat for your health? How much weight will you lose by eating 700 calories a day?

In this guide, we will discuss if eating 700 calories a day is enough for health, the risks and benefits of a 700 calorie diet plan, what you can eat on a 700 calorie per day meal plan, and some sample 700 calories a day meals and diet recipes.

We will cover: 

  • Is 700 Calories a Day Enough?
  • How Do You Eat 700 Calories a Day?
  • What Is the Best 700 Calorie a Day Meal Plan?

Let’s dive in!

A diet plan sheet with foods surrounding it.

Is 700 Calories a Day Enough?

Before we dig into this 700 calories a day weight loss diet guide, we must state the important disclaimer that we do not believe that anyone should follow a 700 calories a day meal plan unless specifically guided by a medical professional.

Eating only 700 calories a day is not enough for a healthy adult to support their nutritional needs.

You need to eat a minimum number of calories per day to prevent nutritional deficiencies and keep your metabolism from plummeting.

This is due to a survival mechanism known as adaptive thermogenesis, which will kick in during times of extreme caloric restriction, such as when following a 700 calories a day weight loss diet.

Essentially, your body goes into starvation mode. You will burn fewer calories and impact your basal metabolic rate (BMR), and start burning muscle mass to reduce your caloric needs because muscle burns more calories than fat.

A 700 calorie diet plan falls well below the recommended daily caloric intake for adults according to the 2020-2025 United States Dietary Guidelines.

A calorie counter app.

According to these recommendations, adult men should consume a minimum of 2,200–2,400 calories, while adult females should consume at least 1,600–1,800 calories per day.

Furthermore, a 700 calories plan is considered a very low-calorie diet (VLCD, under 800 calories a day).

That said, an occasional day following a 700 calorie meal plan for a bit of a metabolic reset, sort of along the lines of alternate-day intermittent fasting, can be a potential approach to weight loss.

Otherwise, 700 calories a day meal plans are only advised in cases where someone has a body mass index (BMI) that is clinically categorized as morbidly obese (between above 35 kg/m2), is preparing for weight loss surgery or fertility treatments, is being guided to reverse type 2 diabetes, or some other medically indicated need for rapid weight loss.

If you want to know how to follow a 700-calorie diet for the long term (more than a day or two or an occasional day), you should be working with a doctor, registered dietitian, and/or nutritionist to ensure that you need a 700 calorie weight loss diet.

According to Harvard Health, the minimum calories per day adults should be eating unless otherwise guided by a healthcare professional is 1200 calories a day for a woman and 1500 calories a day for a man.

Therefore, a 700 calories food plan is essentially less than half or about half of the minimum number of calories a day that weight loss diet plans should provide.

A meal plan.

How Do You Eat 700 Calories a Day?

There are different strategies for how to eat 700 calories a day; of course, the challenge here is trying to limit your meal plan to 700 calories.

The best 700 calories a day diet foods will be inherently low-calorie, but they need to be nutrient-dense because you only have a limited number of calories to work with to meet all of your nutritional needs.

To that end, the most important thing to consider with how to follow a 700 calories a day meal plan is what additional nutritional supplements you will need to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

This is due to the fact that it is virtually impossible to meet all of your nutritional needs aside from just calories on a 700 calories weight loss plan.

For example, experts say that you need a minimum of a multivitamin, 2-3 g/day potassium, and adequate fluid intake on very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs: <800 calories a day).

A handful of supplements.

This is why working with a nutritionist and medical provider who can draw blood work will be important if you are following a long-term 700 calories weight loss program.

After considering supplementation, there are different strategies for how to eat 700 calories a day in terms of structuring your meals. 

  • You can have three small meals that average a little under 250 calories each (200-calorie breakfast, 250-calorie lunch, and 250-calorie dinner)
  • You can have just two meals a day, like a 350-calorie breakfast or 350-calorie lunch and a 350-calorie dinner, as sort of an intermittent fasting approach
  • You can follow the one meal a day (OMAD) diet and have one 700-calorie meal and then fast the remaining 23 hours
  • You can have very small snacks spread out throughout the day like five 150-calorie snacks.

You will need to play around with different options for how to eat only 700 calories a day and decide which type of 700-calorie meal plan structure works best to satiate you as well as possible.


What Is the Best 700 Calorie a Day Meal Plan?

There is no single best meal plan with 700 calories a day; your food preferences and deal timing will affect the best 700 calories menu plan for you.

We have created two sample 700 calorie weight loss diet plans. 

The first one provides three small meals daily (200-calorie breakfast, 250-calorie lunch, and 250-calorie dinner), and the second one includes two 350-calorie meals.

700 Calorie High-Protein Meal Plan: 3 Meals a Day

Breakfast: 195 calories 29 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of net carbs

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of plain nonfat Greek yogurt (100 calories, 17 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs) and 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds (55 calories, 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat)
  • Egg white scramble: 2 egg whites, 1 cup spinach (40 calories, 9 grams of protein, 1 gram net carbs) 
  • 8 to 12 ounces of water
Tuna salad.

Lunch: 245 calories, 5g of carbs, 37g of protein, 7g of fat

  • One 3-ounce can of light tuna in water, 2 celery stalks chopped, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard (100 calories, 20 grams of protein, 2 grams of net carbs) 
  • Spinach salad with 1.5 cups of spinach, 2 tablespoons of walnuts, the egg whites of three hard-boiled eggs but just the whites, 1 plum tomato chopped, lemon juice and dash of extra virgin olive oil (145 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams net carbs, 17 grams protein) 
  • 8 to 12 ounces of water

Dinner: 275 calories; 30 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, 5 grams of net carbs

  • Baby spinach and arugula salad with 1 cup of each leafy green, one plum tomato chopped, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, 1/4 avocado chopped, 1 ounce of low-fat feta cheese, 3.5 ounces of lean protein of choice (chicken breast, turkey breast, tofu, tuna), with lemon juice dressing.
  • 8 to 12 ounces of water

Total: 705 calories, 96 grams of protein, 10 grams of net carbs, 27 grams of fat 

Egg whites sprinkled with pepper.

700 Calorie Low-Carb Meal Plan: 2 Meals a Day

Breakfast: 310 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, 33 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber

  • Yogurt Parfait: 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 10 almonds, 1/2 cup raspberries (210 calories, 7 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs, 6 grams fiber)
  • Egg white scramble with 1.5 cups of baby spinach (7 calories per cup) and 5 egg whites (17 calories per egg white from a large egg, 4 grams of protein) (100 calories, 22 grams of protein, 3 grams of net carbs) 
  • 12 ounces of water
  • Black coffee or unsweetened tea

Dinner 380 calories, 24 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbs, 35 grams of protein 

  • Pecan-crusted tilapia with 1/4 cup of chopped pecans, 4 ounces of tilapia, cumin and black pepper to taste, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (290 cal, 1 g of net carbs, 20 g of fat, 28 g of protein)
  • Spinach and broccoli salad with 2 cups of baby spinach, 1/2 cucumber sliced, ½ cup mushrooms, ½ cup of broccoli florets chopped, lemon juice to taste, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup of tomatoes, lemon juice (90 calories, 4 grams fat, 7 grams protein, 6 grams net carbs)
  • 12 ounces of water

We tried to make these healthy 700 calories meal plans with the major disclaimer that eating only 700 calories a day is not healthy and will not provide all of the nutrition that you need to support even basic life-sustaining functions, let alone any physical activity.

For a more sustainable, healthy diet, take a look at our Mediterranean diet guide here.

A spinach salad.
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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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